The Warcraft wiki last edited by Jeff on 02/25/13 11:04PM View full history

Overview

Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, Warcraft is an award winning, genre-crossing and highly celebrated series of real-time strategy and massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Set in a high-fantasy universe populated by humans, orcs, goblins, trolls, undead, elves, dwarves, gnomes and others, the Warcraft series has consistently impressed players with solid gameplay, impressive visuals, and an epic storyline that has fostered a deep and almost fanatical fanbase of at least 10 million players.

Warcraft: Orcs and Humans

Warcraft: Orcs and Humans
A real-time strategy game released in 1994 for PC and Macintosh, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans features two opposing factions, the brutish orcs and the noble humans. Players choose to control one of these two races in parallel campaigns in which they either defend the world of Azeroth as the humans from the extra-dimensional orcs, or conquer Azeroth and humanity in the name of the Horde. Warcraft was one of the first examples of real-time strategy, and the majority of missions simply require the player to destroy the enemy outright. The storytelling in Warcraft was limited to voiceovers before each mission that set up the premise and objective of that mission.

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
A highly anticipated sequel, Warcraft II provided the same core real-time strategy gameplay as its predecessor, but integrated several new mechanics as well as significant graphical and sound enhancements. Blizzard increased the graphical resolution significantly, and produced units, structures and terrain as large, colorful sprites. Naval combat was first introduced to the series in Warcraft II. Additionally, the game was highly customizable, leading to the development of several third-party applications by fans which were subsequently adopted for internal use by Blizzard. Like the first game, players could control either the forces of the humans or orcs. However, other likeminded races joined the respective armies. For example, the humans were joined by elves, gnomes, and dwarves, while the orcs were joined by trolls, ogres, and goblins.

Warcraft II is set six years after its predecessor, and assumes the orcs were victorious at the end of the first game. The land of Azeroth has fallen, and the human armies are retreating under the onslaught of the orcish Hordes. The orcs, however, driven by war and conflict, constructed a massive armada of ships with which to invade the lands of Lordaeron and finish off their human enemy. Eventually, humanity and its allies prevail, reclaiming Azeroth and destroying the Dark Portal, the original gateway that allowed the orcs into the human world from the dimension of Draenor. Unfortunately, the dimensional rift itself was not closed, allowing the orcs to begin a second invasion in the next game.

Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal

Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
This expansion pack for Warcraft II was the only released Warcraft game jointly developed between Blizzard Entertainment and another studio ( Cyberlore Studios). Beyond the Dark Portal took players into a new dimension, to the orc home dimension of Draenor, in an effort to seal the dimensional rift in the world of its origin, and forever prevent another invasion of Azeroth from the orcish Horde. Beyond the Dark Portal included two new single player campaigns, several new multiplayer maps, and 10 new hero units, as well as a new tileset for players to use to create custom maps.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warcraft III
Released many years after its predecessor, Warcraft III again overhauled the franchise, switching from a 2D, sprite-driven engine to a fully 3D engine, providing several new enhancements as well as completely redesigning the core gameplay mechanics of the franchise. Naval combat was removed entirely, two levels of fog of war were added, line-of-sight and elevation damage bonuses were included, and hero units were made the primary focus of gameplay. Additionally, the game provided four races for players to control (humans, orcs, night elves, and the undead). No longer was the player tasked with building massive armies of units; now the game focused on role-playing elements to bolster the abilities of Hero units, which then amassed smaller groups of units around them.

In the Warcraft III, a devastating enemy of ancient prophecy, the demonic Burning Legion, arrives on Azeroth to consume the world and destroy all that live there. The player plays as one of the four races involved in the conflict to determine the outcome of the war. In past Warcraft games, each race's campaign was presented as an alternate version of the same timeline. In Warcraft III, however, each of the four races' campaigns happen in a specific sequence and are meant to be played in that sequence to convey one linear storyline.

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
Taking place immediately after Warcraft III, The Frozen Throne expansion pack continued the story of the exiled night elf Illidan Stormrage and the corrupted paladin Arthas Menethil. The game added a multitude of new units and structures for each race, an increased unit cap, neutral Hero units that could be hired during a mission, and significantly more resources which could be accessed through the Warcraft III map editor. The Frozen Throne also set up events and circumstances that led directly into the fiction used in World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft
With 10 million subscribers, World of Warcraft is the single most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game on the planet. The gameplay is similar to other MMORPGs, giving players the ability to generate their own character avatar from ten races and nine classes. Played from a third-person perspective, the game has players run around within a persistent world, fighting monsters, exploring the environment, completing quests, and building up their characters' statistics and abilities over time. The game takes place after the events of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and allows player (with currently available and planned expansion packs) to travel across the majority of the Warcraft universe.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
The first expansion pack to World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade adds two new races to create characters with, several new instances (i.e. lands and dungeons) to embark upon, a new battleground for player vs. player combat, and potentially dozens of hours of new content for players overall.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft: Warth of the Lich King
Wrath of the Lich King is the second expansion pack to World of Warcraft, and involves characters and events which took place within Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Players are able to travel through 10 zones in total; however many of them are restricted by the player's level. Wrath of the Lich King introduces many new features, including the increase of the game's level cap to 80, hundreds of new items, quests, creatures, and spells, as well as siege weapons, new character customization options, updated graphics and special effects, new factions, and more. Additionally, Blizzard is debuting the Hero class, Death Knight. It is designed to start at level 55 and fills the role of either a damage dealer or a tank but players are limited to one Death Knight per account per server.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the third expansion for World of Warcraft. Prior to the launch of Cataclysm, the entire world of Azeroth got a giant revamp, where familiar zones across the original continents of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor have been altered forever and updated with new and modernised content. The Cataclysm brings 7 new zones and many new features into the game, examples of these are the increase of the player's level cap from 80 to 85, two new playable races, Worgen for the Alliance and Goblins for the Horde, as well as hundreds of new items, quests, creatures and abilities.

Deathwing the Destroyer has made his return into Azeroth after his rest in Deepholm, causing a new Sundering, making him the main antagonist of Cataclysm.

Key Characters

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